How to Make Your Good Story Great
We’ve all heard the atypical tips on how a good story is anchored by an awesome plot but what differs a good story from a great one? What are the ingredients to a great story? What is it that compels a reader to finish a book within a few hours rather than do so over days?
The answer: architecture and your prose.So, what can you do to write a story with good architecture and prose that appeals to your reader? Here are a few tips that might help make your good story great.
1. Predefine the Heart of Your Story
What is it that centres your story? Is it personal experience, heartbreak, research, sorrow, happiness? Why is this story important to you?
Predefining the heart of your story would make it easy for you to recall why you’re writing the story and enable you to maintain a particular tone that will help convey your message to your audience (whoever that might include). Also, the heart acts as the foundation of the story.
2. Think About Your Audience
Who are you writing to? What are you writing for? Are you writing for a specific segment or does the audience not really matter?
You are writing to and for someone- whoever that might be. Your prose will differ if you’re writing for a specific market segment as opposed to when you’re writing for the masses.
For example, if your audience is inclusive of teenagers, you might want to include more slang in your story. On the other hand, if you were to write for, say, an older audience, it would be wise to adopt a formal tone and use rich vocabulary to create an impact. Alternatively, if you do not have a defined audience, it would be better to go for a combination of the two.
3. Write Only When You are High on Emotions
Notice that bodybuilders, writers, singers, artists, actors and actresses often produce great work when they’ve got emotions that give them the drive they need, to pull through.
Writing on days that you’re really not up to the task will affect the quality of your work. It is best to write when you get that sudden urge of emotions, good or bad, because that energy can be channelized into your work. That passion translates into great work and thus would appeal to others, within who your emotions would resonate, as they read what you’ve written.
4. Put Yourself in Your Audience’s Shoes
This is something you should do even if you don’t intend on appealing to a specific audience. Think about factors, plots, characters and stories that would evoke some emotion- negative or positive- from your audience.
There are countless books and songs out there that revolted numerous readers but what made those stories great was their ability to keep a reader hooked to the story. Dig deep and analyse what would strike a chord in your heart or what would disgust and yet appeal to you, as a reader.
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